Day 28: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

“I was hungry and you gave me food to eat.
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
In 2010 our pastor, Skip Blancett, asked church members to bring a crockpot of soup every Thursday to provide a hot meal for those in need around our downtown location. Little did we know that the soup that was served on the church lawn would evolve into one of our mos tmeaningful outreach programs, known each Thursday as Lunch with Our Neighbors. From the church lawn the program moved to the Salvation Army location and then to today’s location at the Moss Rose Community Center, east of the downtown post office.
I did not get involved with the program until the third Thursday. That day I served a lady I will call “B” and could tell that she was very hungry, so I made sure she got an extra large helping. When she finished I said, “B, would you like any seconds?” She said, “Yes, I would like everything.” After finishing her seconds, “B asked for a third helping, and I proceeded to take her a third full helping of food. I was shocked when B finished and asked me for money. I politely told her that we don’t give money, just food. I them asked, “B, why do you need money?” She responded, “Tums.” I took her a roll of Tums the following week.
Many humorous, as well as inspiring stories have come from that program over the last nine years. However, the one that I remember the most and keeps me going each Thursday occurred a few years back. I was working at the greeting desk where we sign in guests, distribute Gideon New Testaments, Bibles, Upper Rooms, sack lunches to go, and record all needed information, when I looked up and saw two little hands and blue eyes barely looking over the edge of the desk at me. I said, “Hi.” What she said next almost made a grown man cry. “My tummy hurts.” “I am hungry.” We made sure that she got fed first. When she left she had a big smile on her face when we gave her a New Testament and a sack lunch. I said, “Come see me again.” She said, “OK and thank you.” She has not been back since, but I think of her and the importance of our program every Thursday.
In addition to this program, we have many great programs and services provided by our church. However, a concern I have is that those leading many of these programs and services are getting up in years and will not always be here to take care of things. We need new, young blood to take over the reins if these great programs and services are to continue down the road.
Lord, thank You for the opportunity to serve others in meaningful ways that hopefully bring them closer to Your greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ. May all the great things that are being done in Your name be carried on for generations to come. Amen.
Contributed by Chuck Truesdale